NEW YORK -- Chase Utley offered no answers Tuesday when asked why he has struggled for the past month.
But he took an extra step to end his slump -- he has hit just .180 with one home run and four RBIs since May 15 -- before Wednesday night's game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He arranged several bats, an apple, an orange, a banana, a can of Red Bull, a tin of chewing tobacco, batting gloves and a few vitamins in a pattern next to his locker.
Think crop circles, but bats.
Three of the bats formed a triangle. At the top of the triangle sat the Red Bull, apple, orange, banana, tin and vitamins.
Nice handy work, Chase.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he replied.
But those who know say Utley was the culprit.
Teammates got a kick out of it.
Ryan Howard brought up Jobu, the idol that fictional Cleveland Indians slugger Pedro Cerrano worshiped in the movie "Major League."
"We've got to get a live chicken somewhere," Brad Lidge said, referring to a line in the movie.
Schneider starts in place of Ruiz at catcher
NEW YORK -- Carlos Ruiz said he is fine, which is not entirely true.
He said the left ankle that has bothered him since he made an awkward slide retrieving a ball behind home plate Sunday at Fenway Park is fine, although he described some tightness in the ankle. But besides the ankle, Ruiz also is stuck in a 0-for-22 slump.
Brian Schneider started behind the plate Wednesday against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
"I'll be ready tomorrow," Ruiz said, referring to Thursday's series finale.
Ruiz was struggling offensively before he injured the ankle. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Ruiz has a long swing. Ruiz said he is working on it.
"I feel like I'm seeing the ball good, but it's something in my mechanics," Ruiz said. "I'll come back tomorrow and hopefully I'll show the swing I had early in the season. It's early. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. Sometimes you go through it. But I feel fine. I trust my swing. I know I can do it. I've done it before."
Phillies want Rollins to play full game
NEW YORK -- Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins played seven innings in a rehab game Wednesday with Class A Clearwater, going 1-for-3 with a single.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the club wants to see Rollins, who is on the disabled list with a strained right calf, play a full nine innings before activating him. That still allows the possibility Rollins could rejoin the team this weekend against the Twins at Citizens Bank Park.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.